Opontia is shifting gears and focusing on markets in the Middle East and Africa. These markets are not the focus of the big-name aggregators like Thrasio or Razor Group. Additionally, Opontia is not focusing on Amazon alone. Instead, they are building omnichannel networks for brands, expanding to places like Shopify and social commerce. It will be interesting to see how the omnichannel focus works – and if more aggregators will be replicating this strategy.
E-commerce roll-up play Opontia launched in June, raising $20 million in debt and equity to acquire older, small e-commerce brands in the Middle East and Africa. Today, the company confirmed to TechCrunch that it has closed a subsequent round, a $42 million Series A nine months after it was founded.
Roll-up plays are generally known to secure more debt than equity when they raise mega-round deals. Opontia’s seed round was the case, but the share between equity and venture debt stands at about 50% each for its Series A financing.
STV led the round, with Raed Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Upper90 and VentureSouq participating. Angel investors Salman Butt of Salla and Wiktor Namysl of McKinsey Poland joined, as well. San Francisco-based venture debt fund Partners for Growth funded Opontia’s debt financing.
TechCrunch gathered that Opontia has somewhat switched focus on its target market. Though it launched with eyes on the Middle East and Africa, the company has only made efforts in some parts of the former (the UAE and Saudi Arabia) while making significant headway into Central and Eastern Europe, particularly Turkey and Poland.
“There is opportunity there; it’s just not the biggest markets,” co-founder and co-CEO Philip Johnston said when asked why Opontia wasn’t in Africa yet. “Poland is six times the size of Egypt, for example, in terms of e-commerce spend. We’re definitely going to Africa; we just are doing the biggest markets first. So if you have to prioritize, you go for the market that’s the biggest and then you work your way down. In terms of the biggest markets for us, it’s Poland, Turkey, Saudi, UAE, Nigeria, after that is Egypt and Pakistan.”